Day in and day out, 3.5 million truckers step into their trucks and hit the road, delivering over 10 billion tons of freight annually across the country at all hours of the day and night. The sacrifices these drivers make so that we can put food on the table and clothes on our backs often gets taken for granted and goes unnoticed…until now. While we are quarantining ourselves in the comfort of our own homes in an effort to prevent ourselves from catching and spreading the coronavirus, these men and women are putting their lives on the line for each and every one of us.
The risk is real. The coronavirus COVID-19 has currently infected over 360,600 people throughout 194 countries and territories thus far, with over 40,700 occurring in the United States, that number growing exponentially each day. Not only do truckers run the risk of interacting with people from all different states, but handling shipments that could possibly be contaminated.
Shippers and consignees are placing restrictions on drivers; for example, not allowing a driver to enter their property until their temperature is taken, refusing to let drivers utilize their restrooms, questioning their whereabouts over the last several days, etc.
In an effort to get these essentials to market to keep up with demand during this time of crisis, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a waiver to the Hours of Service Rule for those truckers “transporting goods related to the COVID-19 outbreak,” in effect through April 12 or until the President declares an end to the emergency. Read more here. But while drivers have more hours to run, they still face hurdles such as customers being closed down due to state mandates.
To make their jobs more difficult, the closure of many truck stops has left drivers struggling to find a bathroom, wash their hands/keep good hygiene, eat, and find a place to park and sleep.
Road Scholar Transport recognizes the importance of truck drivers and, like our families, we want to keep them healthy. That’s why we’ve implemented the following:
*Our drivers are assigned their own “personal” tractors, allowing them to use the same sterile “office space” on each and every move so they are not exposed to additional germs.
*We’ve established a “Wellness Bonus Program” that provides our drivers, mechanics, and operations bonuses for reporting to work healthy.
*“Box Lunch Program” – Each driver receives a box lunch every morning prior to leaving the terminal.
*Our drivers are uniformed and have these uniforms cleaned on a daily basis which ensures that germs do not cling to clothing.
*Our drivers comply with hand sanitation methods and wash before and after each stop.
*Each tractor and trailer is washed and disinfected after each trip.
*Drivers do not enter facilities but instead, simply bump docks.
Additionally, we have a “Virtual Office,” meaning our corporate office has deployed 70% of our staff as “remote workers” without any interruption to our customer service operation.
We are fortunate to have our drivers and staff 100% healthy and we are ready to keep the supply chain moving for all our current and future clients.
Last October, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released its survey results identifying the top ten issues the trucking industry is facing. Truck parking ranked 5th on this list among…